This is supposed to be easy, is it?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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AntiM
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This is supposed to be easy, is it?

Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:24 am

This is that time of year, the time when perfectly understandable questions are asked, and sometimes answered.

Questions about shuttles and buses, questions about water delivery and wifi and phones, questions about scooters, about RVs. Of course it makes sense to ask the experienced people, to not re-invent the wheel.

But for me, this raises a question. Is Burning Man supposed to be this easy? A rented RV with AC? Plentiful water for showers? Blogging daily online? Stepping off the plane onto a bus to roll you into the city?

Sure, plenty of people figured out how to do these things themselves, excellent initiative. However, I feel uncertain when newbies who've never attended ask for amenities, expecting availability of almost anything. Tents are "out", as though roughing it is quaint and attention garnering. Yes, I understand there are those who need the RV to attend, and there are those who own their own motorcoach. That's cool. But for a multi-state area to be out of rentals for ONE event? Weird.

We figured out our transportation and camp all by our lonesomes. I never expected solutions to be handed to me. Gifts of sharing, sure, but a camp with daily meals and showers? Never crossed my mind, except as "what a pain in the ass, we can make do without." Not that I'm knocking meals and showers, good on ya, but I'm not the sort of worker bee who likes doing for others daily. And in our small camp, that role always falls to MyLarry and by association, myself. So we said no, you want it, you bring it and you set it up and you clean it up. We got no takers. Hence the dry kitchen and the garden sprayer showers and the miniscule tent. That's all we seem to need and want.

So the question becomes two questions: Am I finally jaded? Or have the expectations of attending Burning Man begun to encompass concepts such as ease of access/travel and readily purchased creature comforts?

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sputnik
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Post by sputnik » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:36 am

Yes...you've become a jaded old timer. Welcome to the club. It was better 5 years ago.
It's going to be alright.

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Post by geospyder » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:40 am

Just to restore some of your faith. I'm a virgin and I've arranged (bummed) a ride to Burning Man. I'm going to be in a tent. I’m still figuring out a PVC type structure to hopefully keep it from blowing away. Showers - sure I'd love them but I'll be using a spray bottle and "Fresh Bath" wipes from REI. I was planning on dry cereal for breakfast; granola bars for lunch and was hoping for something warm for dinner. But, I was very surprised to find out that my campmates eat well. Food won't be a problem. I'm still making my gifting item - well, actually my wife is. She is the seamstress in the family. I was even gifted a bike - which I'm relearning to ride. Why I waited 65 years I'll never know but I'm going this year. Ticket is hanging on the wall. BTW - you never commented about how my brother Larry resembled your Larry. Did you get the pictures?
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Post by flatlander13 » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:53 am

AntiM…..are you jaded? NO…..I think you like many are perplexed by the questions being posted this year on Eplaya…….I would say you are actually being nice about these questions……me; not so nice.

Take these questions for instance:

How do you use RV A/C? If you are renting an RV talk to the people renting it to you…….stupid.

TRAVEL STRATEGIES TO AND FROM THE PLAYA! You posted this on the Burning Man webpage….ever think of looking there……..for fuck sake.

Radical Inclusion: Should we include harmful people? This took sometime to weed out….but this person is asking if they have to include someone that has done them physical harm…….if that person is at Burning Man……….What? Christy McFucking Jesus……….come on………You actually had to ask this question?

What can I say M…….you are about the nicest person I have witnessed on Eplaya…….
What I hear; is that you’re dismayed with people’s lack of ingenuity…..like reading the survival guide…………oi

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:02 am

It was easy when it was on the beach.

"The thing was burning when we got here!"

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Post by Fire_Moose » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:37 am

I dont think you're jaded, last year was my first and i'm sure i asked some silly questions on here, with all the anticipation it's nice to hear from people that have been there, so our stupid filter gets a little skewed.

I was camped with a group of friends and my personal set up of a tent with a monkey hut over it tied to my truck worked out SOO well never had to do any repairs or anything, only thing i would have changed is have a bigger tent...that you can stand up in...which i now have but dunno how it will be on the playa. I did a DAMN good job my first year :D

geospyder wrote: I’m still figuring out a PVC type structure to hopefully keep it from blowing away. Showers - sure I'd love them but I'll be using a spray bottle and "Fresh Bath" wipes from REI.
PVC structure - Monkey hut if you can transport 6 10foot poles, it's perfect.

you don't even get dirty out there...i dunno why people keep talking about showers and baths...
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Post by unjonharley » Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:42 am

the wind like 01 will come again and cul. The weather has just been to good the last few year.

RV's are fine with me. I don't care how you live. It's having to have your space up front and in everyone face.

I used this board to get on Larry's space and the dumpy look. It cleaned up.

Now if we could move the large campers back to the burbs.

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:58 am

Geo, I know many newbs do it right. I did get the pics and looked at them I thought I'd replied... but I've cleared the inbox since. I think you meant MyLrry who I am married to, not my brother Larry who died last December. I know, too many Larrys.

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Post by EB » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:59 am

I wouldn't say it's *easy* even with all of the toys but I see your point, AM.

But newbs stand on the shoulders of those who've previously attended. I know I did. I drank in as much knowledge as this board would allow and I say it's better to have newbs with air-conditioned RVs than newbs with no shade structure, no water and no clue.

It's a testament to this board and others like it
Irony. You're soaking in it.

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Post by SilverOrange » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:20 pm

I'm not one to ever bitch about things changing, because fuck, it's inevitable, but it sure seems to have. I feel like there's a lot of people that just go to burning man because it's the coolest party on earth. (Which it is.)

When I started going, twelve years ago, it was a lot different and IMHO meant a lot of things that it just doesn't anymore. Part of the magic of the event WAS the radical self reliance. It was an adventure and just living through it was a reward in itself. For me it WAS coming home. For the first time in my life I felt like I was surrounded by kindred spirits, even though those spirits were from across the board. No one was judgemental, everyone was pretty respectful of every one else, and you could just see the shine of life in everyones eyes. Now it feels like...a big party. Sure it's an amazing, eye opening event where, chances are you will see and experience things that you would probably never have the oportunity to anywhere else.

The thing that I've found lacking is the sense of community. That and the sense of entitlement that a lot of people have that attend the event now. People expect a lot of things. Hearing people walk into a bar that someone built, carried out to the desert, stocked, and set up to enrich the communities experience, and order drinks like they're in some club in their home town just rubs me the wrong way. This kind of goes along with people that come on here and say, "What there's no shuttle buses from the airport. WTF?" It just seems like a lot of what this event grew out of has been lost. For this reason I think this will be my last trip out to the playa.

Next year is going to all about the regional for me. Lakes of Fire rekindled that spirit for me. It wasn't about the party, it wasn't about the DJ's, it wasn't about your rave costume, it was once again about the community. I can't tell you how touched I was to talk to so many new people who were as blown away as I was twelve years ago by that feeling of being with family. It was like reliving that experience all over again and made the hard work worthwhile, and made me vow to work harder next year to make it even more amazing. I'll miss the playa, but I feel like I've rung all I can out it's dusty ass.

I'm especially going to make an effort to keep track of time and make it to Barbie Death Village for the meet and greet this year, because there are a lot of great people here that I've never gotten the chance to meet and I would really like to.

I sound like a fucking hippie. So shoot me.

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Post by oneeyeddick » Wed Jul 08, 2009 12:33 pm

With more years of
more burns there is
more experience from
more people who have been there
more than once or
more than twice and they can give
more advice to more newbs than ever before and now there are
more sites than just this one and tribe for
more newbs to get advice from it has become
more easier for them to get
more advice than ever before and there will be
more to come and I like the idea of
more RVs being used by
more newbs because that will mean less effort to help the newbs will give
more people
more time to do
more of the things they have always wished they had
more time to do but never could because there were
more newbs that needed
more help than ever before until right about now.



























more


























edited twice because I needed a little more in the middle
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.

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Post by DoriumLux » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:19 pm

As I said in an early post....
And some days I wonder how I've lasted so many years in a tent without air conditioning.

I still stick to my guns about rv's making the playa far too accessible and attractive to every day people. I liked the good old days when the hot desert deterred most and attracted the types tough enough to rough it.

Lets relocate to a harsher environment.

I hope the atrocious winds from last year will have magically culled the crowds or at least the economy. I wince every time I see BM in the media. I wish it was still a cult secret. I wish I would still see a look of confusion when people heard the name. I'm starting to really think it is time for it to reborn through regionals.

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Post by Timezone LaFontaine » Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:22 pm

Everybody has to start somewhere. This year, my fourth, I'll be more self-reliant and hard-working than ever before, traveling alone, but also camping and participating daily in a working camp--Lamplighters (I've volunteered with them several times in the past but this year I'll be camping and working with them every day). I've been camping in tents all along, but this year I have been scheming up my own adapted carport shade structure and showering contraption, appreciating y'all's advice on securing everything and considering everyone's various route preferences. Step by step I have learned more ways to be self-sufficient and to contribute more to the city. Some of these ways involve work, others are more about simply (although not necessarily easily) freeing myself to be more uniquely expressive.

I think there are some number of 'yahoos' and people who come there without getting that it's about more than just comfortably partying, but for some of those people, it clicks when they get there and some of them probably actually do become more self-reliant and contribute more when they come back the next year.

As for the RVs... you got all that room to carry stuff in them, please decorate them so I don't have to look at the crappy vector swirls and ironic model names like "Adventurer." :wink:

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Post by dragonfly Jafe » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:53 pm

I too share your amazement at some of these questions (and especially enjoy the ones that begin "I cannot afford a ticket to go, can you help me?"). Too bad the org can't import some lions or alligators to thin them out naturally....when people locally start asking questions like that of me (and the best; "do you think I should go to BM?") I always reply, "BM may not be for you" and leave it at that. There are enough clueless newbies without encouraging them.

now, a good technical question...
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
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Token
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Post by Token » Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:28 pm

I think you have indirectly answered your own question AntiM.

It might not be others expectations of easy access and comfort that is bothering you. It might be your own expectations that are not getting fulfilled.

RVs, ride shares, bus service, container shipping, water and JOTS delivery ... all of this stuff has been around for a decade or more in the BM experience. None of it is new.

Tenting it vs. RVing it - Been a topic of discussion for years.
Kids at BM vs. Adult Only BM - Ditto
Sound art vs. No sound art - ad nauseum

There must be thousands of reasons why folks go to BM. It is way simplistic to say that it is just a party all of a sudden. Rave camps and the whole rave culture were on the playa on day one and have ever been part of the zone trip.

It is just as valid to say that it is all Bianca's Smut Shack legend. Or Jiffy Lube for that matter.

But the biggest culprit is that dash of ego all us veterans and newbs alike have about BM. We make it sound like camping for 8 days on a salt flat is some grandiose achievement; as if we single handedly invaded Iraq and did a two year tour or some such.

But its not. Its just a camping trip in the high desert. No more no less.

It is simply ordinary.

How we go about it is quite irrelevant

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Wed Jul 08, 2009 6:13 pm

I'm not bemoaning change, because change happens. That's what keeps things interesting. I don't care for the tone on the eplaya this year. It just feels wonky and sad.

I'm by no means fed up with the event, there's so much more to do, and more ways to do it. I don't think I'm being snarkier than in the past about the music and the RVs, but somehow my radar is set to a different sensitivity.

I went to the event, having only seen it online by accident and by odd coincidence, reading about it after I'd purchased tickets. I read the survival guide, told MyLarry what we needed, stumbled onto Hushville and off we went. I didn't join the eplaya until much later, although I did find the Utah burns quickly. Love the Utah burns, even through our ups and downs.

People, it is the people I love. That's you freaks. Here and there. Perhaps I am dissatisfied with newbs who are afraid to make a jump into the unknown. Perhaps the whiny nature of the eplaya takes a toll. Maybe I'm feeling like a curmudgeon who wants to say, "If you can't figure it out, why are you bothering?" Maybe it is that when I freecycled things today, both people picking up knew about Burning Man and wanted to attend "someday".

I know a portion of the newbs get it after they hit the dust. That's what's right about everything.

Interesting to read the various takes on the original questions and the many ways it spins for each eplayan.

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Post by flatlander13 » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:36 am

I had first heard about Burning Man from a friend of mine (ibdave) who I called 4 years after our 20 year high school reunion; which he didn’t attend. We hadn’t talked in at least 20 years……during the conversation he was talking about Burning Man like a preacher from the pulpit. I got off the phone, talked to my wife and purchased a ticket.

I think ibdave was a little surprised when I called him to tell him I was going…….I wasn’t invited into his camp……we were just going to meet there. Ibdave did tell me to read the survival guide….which I did, but like every newbie I was ill prepared…….my shade structure was so small that while sitting under it; I had to move every half hour or so to stay under it’s shadow…..the first 2 years I went I took a route from Seattle to the playa that was 200 miles each way longer than I take now…….but I wouldn’t have seen how cool Mt Shasta was or Lake Shasta looked at the end of August without taking the long route.

I found ibdave’s camp……was invited in by one of the campmates…….ibdave didn’t invite me into his camp because about 2/3 of the our camp are gay men……and being that we hadn’t seen each other in 20 years he didn’t know how I would react……seeing that we had both grown up in Walla Walla Washington……..which is redneck central.

Still……it was not easy……which is what I love……I love that there is so much at BM that can get you….the weather, the playa dust…..just being stupid (which I excel at)……..

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Post by SilverOrange » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:52 am

Wow, I really should know better than to post on the eplaya when I'm in such a pissed off mood.

I love burning man. It has made my life a much richer experience. I have made what I consider to be my best friends due to burning man, and when I meet people that are burners I immediately feel a bond with those people just because of our shared experiences. I've consistently been blown away by the people and experiences that I've had at burning man and the events surrounding it. Burners are a constant reminder to me that the world is not filled with clueless asshats. Another beautiful thing about the burn is that it means something different to everyone and everyone takes something different away from it. I sometimes forget that my experience won't be the same as everyone elses, and the things that mean a lot to me may mean nothing to the next person. So bless you DJ's and fratboys, I hope that you walk away from your experience changed and a better person because of it. It is a big playa out there with a shit ton of experiences to be had. One of the other things I love about this event is forcing myself outside of my comfort zone and expanding my horizons. Thank you burning man. While you may not be perfect, you are way fucking better than the alternative.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:53 am

I had to convince one of my barbarian newbies to consider using a bicycle. "Barbarians don't use bicycles!" Proud to know you, Wolfe. :)

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SilverOrange
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Post by SilverOrange » Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:58 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:I had to convince one of my barbarian newbies to consider using a bicycle. "Barbarians don't use bicycles!" Proud to know you, Wolfe. :)
You could always slap some wooden wheels on it and cover the frame and such with bamboo.

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Post by Fire_Moose » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:29 am

SilverOrange wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:I had to convince one of my barbarian newbies to consider using a bicycle. "Barbarians don't use bicycles!" Proud to know you, Wolfe. :)
You could always slap some wooden wheels on it and cover the frame and such with bamboo.

....Square wheels...I mean you ARE barbarians
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Ugly Dougly
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:18 pm

Crom gifted thee with a pair of good feet, did he not?
What art thou, gworu?

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Post by Playa Tom » Sat Jul 18, 2009 4:31 pm

Burning Man was so much better in 1953 when we had it on Stinson Beach and the Man was made of kelp.

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Post by gyre » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:25 pm

I still can't believe there is no organized transport from the airport.
It's a bit of a walk.

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Post by unjonharley » Sun Jul 19, 2009 7:17 am

The airport bus service is missing a great market share.

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Post by fciron » Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:33 pm

Last year was my first burn, and I got on eplaya in the lead up to that. I have to say that even as an untested playa virgin I still felt the urge to post "READ THE FUCKING SURVIVAL GUIDE!" every third question. There is a reason that RTFM is one of the earliest internet acronyms.

In response to Anti-M's question I say that the number of clueless people does not seem to have increased in the last 12 months. I cannot speak to earlier periods, maybe some one more motivated can do the statistics on how the proportions of posts containing keywords like "help" and "newb" have changed over the years. Willful ignorance is an ancient human tradition.

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Post by Oldguy » Sun Jul 19, 2009 5:44 pm

Believing that most people are smart is an expectation. Believing everything should be easy is also an expectation. Believing that smart people have it easy is also an expectation. Life is hard, it's the dying that's easy. I expect...
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Post by Barbie » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:51 pm

I think we should all adopt a Virgin... Your Burners Right!

Okay so what ya do is make sure to buy - prepare all their food & freeze it for them, arrange and pay for their water, make sure they have shade, (even If they tell ya over and over that They will be bringing shade)

Pick them up at the airport (even if they call the last minute to say they will be coming in early) *your burners right* give them a place to stay, pack the Van (car, truck ) while they stand there and tell ya it won't all fit. When you get close to the playa - go ahead and let them be in charge of directions - If they head back to Reno its Okay ('cause they know better then You where they are going and its only a couple extra hours-back to Reno ) Be cool 'cause your a burner- WHen you get to the playa - do things their way so they don't pout & try to savatage putting up shade

make sure to invite them EVERYWHERE you go 'cause They are Your virgins- Be sure to get them laid at least once!

When They want to leave early - Pack the stuff back up! (with them pissed off 'cause your not moving fast enough- oh well - that gives them the right to savatage taking down the shade also) Go ahead let them scream & yell and cut-flip peeps off during Exodous- Also let them be in charge of the route you take home 'cause its their Vacation also- and its important to them to see that part of the highway- even if it takes you 8 hours out of your way- *your Burners right* Make sure they have a place to stay when ya get back!

Then the next year they can be your teenage virgin and tell ya what a fucked up job You did - And that your a mooch who needs to grow the fuck up!

IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THAT EASY!! *Your Burners right!* Help a Virgin Out!
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Ugly Dougly
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Post by Ugly Dougly » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:25 pm

Where does a guy gotta go to find an old-fashioned ordeal?

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Post by skygnome777 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:47 pm

Something tells me this actually happened to you.
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